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05-29-1999, 03:04 PM
Ok, here's a weird question for everybody.

I write book reviews (for the newspaper and the occasional magazine). My areas of expertise, as you might have gathered from other messages of mine around here, are a bit esoteric. As such, I often end up with really lousy books that I have reviewed. I don't, in general, have to pay for these (either the publisher sends 'em to me or the newspaper pays for 'em). But here they are sitting on my bookshelf because I can't bring myself to throw 'em out.

Some of the books in question are, "The Millenium Bug," by Hyatt; "The Complete Idiot's Guide to Being Psychic" and "The Complete Idiot's Guide to Tarot and Fortune-Telling;" "Reaching to Heaven," by James Van Praagh; etc.

I could donate them to the library or Salvation Army or whatever and take a tax write-off, which is what I do when I get extra copies of a decent book (you wouldn't believe how many times publishers have sent me duplicate copies), but I really don't want to contribute to somebody else reading these things and possibly believing the nonsense that's in them.

So, does anybody have any suggestions? (And, no, I don't have a fireplace, and I have a gas grill -- in case those were going to be suggested.)

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"It's a very dangerous thing to believe in nonsense." -- James Randi

05-29-1999, 03:20 PM
Keep your ears open for the next filming of a movie on the rise of the Nazis.

05-29-1999, 03:43 PM
::sigh:: I own one of the books in your list, but I think I'll forebear from identifying which one.

You are acting as a censor when you say you don't want somebody else to read and believe what's in them. Sometimes they are read for purely the entertainment value, or for the educational value, or to understand where someone else's attitudes or ideas come from. Why not let someone else decide whether they should read them or not? Are you one of those who believe that what's in the library or the bookstore should be censored? It's not like you would be forcing someone to read them against their will, y'know.

Not only that, but the best way for "nonsense" to be exposed as such is exactly that -- expose it. That's at least part of what the First Amendment is all about. The idea is that ideas which are poor or absurd will, instead of being shrouded in ignorance and mystery, be examined and shredded to identify their worth, or lack thereof.

I'd either donate them to the library, take 'em to a used book store and get a credit (assuming there are no restrictions on your doing this), or have a garage sale.

-Melin

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I'm a woman phenomenally
Phenomenal woman
That's me
(Maya Angelou)

05-29-1999, 04:12 PM
Most people buy dumb books for purely entertainment value. I bought one book called "What to Say When You Talk to Yourself" by Shad Helmstetter, PhD. (PhD-ha!)
Talk about ridiculous pop-psychology!!! But I didnt buy it because I thought it would be intellectually or spiritually enlightening but because I knew Id get a kick out of reading something so stupid.
So, I say, donate the books to the library ( nobody should really have to pay for such fodder so dont take them to a used book store) and dont worry about corrupting minds cuz most people that bother to even go to libraries arent dumb enough to believe such stuff.

05-29-1999, 04:42 PM
You should find a way to recycle them. It's easy in our town, just put them curb side in the proper container on the right day and they are gone, to be made into something else.
Don't know how it is where you are but burning or landfill seems such a waste.

JACK

05-29-1999, 04:54 PM
Melin, David is not acting like a censor. A censor is a person in authority who says "You can not read/see this." Governments censor things. The head of a library might be called a censor, but you could still get the book from another library, buy it, etc. If anyone wanted to read The Idiot's Guide to Tarrot, they could order it from Amazon.Com.

If I owned a book store and refused to cary Playboy, Penthouse, etc., this is not censorship. I have not infringed on your right to see nudie pictures; I have refused to sell them to you. David is in the same position.

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"Outside of a dog, a book is a man's best friend.
Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read."
Groucho Marx

05-29-1999, 05:00 PM
Donate to something like Brandeis Books Sale, where you can presumably get a charitable deduction (even though you got the books free) based on the market value of the book... and whoever wants them, can buy them, and if no one buys them, the charitabobble institution has ways of disposing of them.

Alternately, books make a great insulation. Stack them against the walls of your house, they help keep the heat in and the cold out.

When I ran a cubscout group, one of our activities was making "secret hiding places" by glueing (or decoupaging) the pages of a book together, and cutting out an inside square with xacto knife... the kids loved it. Great project, winds up with a fun output (my son still stores his little odds and ends in a 1962 textbook on accounting.)

05-29-1999, 05:03 PM
No decent recycling program in your area, eh?

You could glue them together in a stack for a lovely decorative smoking stand.

Or, how about giving them to the library with annotations in the margins like, "This is nonsense!" or "Don't believe this bit - it isn't true" (in ink of course, so the librarian doesn't erase them). Maybe you could tip in a copy of your review for each book.

A final idea - buy a shredder!

05-29-1999, 06:06 PM
Hey! Aseymayo stole my ideas! Most libraries (at least in the cities where I have lived) don't put donated books into circulation. Donated books go to the Friends of the Library book sales (great buys there, BTW!). I agree with Melin about the educational value of these silly books -- I am a pretty hard-core skeptic myself, but I might buy one of them as a goof, IF it was cheap enough. If you're worried about them falling into the hands of the ultra-credulous, then, as you read them for review, scribble your comments and doubts right in the margins. Include some cites (this might lead the ultra-credulous person towards other, more rational, readings), and go ahead and glue stick a copy of your review in the back, as well.

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Jess
Full of 'satiable curtiosity

05-29-1999, 06:27 PM
Jess - that line about "great minds..." - it's true!

05-29-1999, 07:04 PM
You are acting as a censor when you say you don't want somebody else to read and believe what's in them.

I don't see this as a censorship issue. It would be wrong for David to take action to prevent other people from reading these books, but he is perfectly entitled to choose not to promote the reading of them. Suppose David had found a box of Neo-Nazi hate propaganda. Would he then be obligated to avoid the stigma of censorship by sending it to a public library so it could be read?

05-30-1999, 02:24 PM
Melin said:::sigh:: I own one of the books in your list, but I think I'll forebear from identifying which one.
Aw, come on. Set yourself up. :)

You are acting as a censor when you say you don't want somebody else to read and believe what's in them.
As several people have already noted, this is patently ridiculous. I'm not stopping anybody from reading them -- but that doesn't mean I have to make it easier to get for somebody who wouldn't otherwise have seen it (such as by donating it to a used book sale where it'll be priced at a dollar).

Why not let someone else decide whether they should read them or not?
They can -- but again, I don't have to make it easier for them. As Mike noted, if I found a box of neo-Nazi hate literature, I wouldn't make it more available for people to read.

Are you one of those who believe that what's in the library or the bookstore should be censored?
Are you one of those who ask questions that have nothing to do with the topic at hand?

Of course I don't believe they should be censored. I do believe they should be properly classified (for example, not putting alien abduction books in the "Science" section), but if people want to buy nonsense, they should be able to do it -- again, though, that doesn't mean I have to help them.

Not only that, but the best way for "nonsense" to be exposed as such is exactly that -- expose it.
Exactly -- which is one reason I write the book reviews. But what are the odds that somebody who will find this book at a used book sale will have read my review? And if they don't, they may not realize that they are reading nonsense (sure, some will, but some will buy the BS because they don't realize it's been debunked).


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"Ignorance and prejudice and fear walk hand in hand."
-- Neil Peart, RUSH, "Witch Hunt"

05-30-1999, 02:34 PM
Thanks to the rest of you for various suggestions. Here are my replies:

alenalindsay said:So, I say, donate the books to the library ( nobody should really have to pay for such fodder so dont take them to a used book store)
Any book I donate to the library will be used in their book sale (as mentioned by Jess). I have tried to donate books for the shelves (a couple of those that the publisher sent me twice) and you have to go thru this whole rigamarole, and they still won't guarantee it'll end up on the shelves. <sigh>

JMSaSU suggested:You should find a way to recycle them.
Not a bad idea -- better, at least, than just throwing 'em away. Thanks.

Jess said:as you read them for review, scribble your comments and doubts right in the margins. Include some cites (this might lead the ultra-credulous person towards other, more rational, readings), and go ahead and glue stick a copy of your review in the back, as well.
Probably the best idea I've seen (I know -- part of the credit goes to aseymayo). While I'm not going to go back and add notes for the ones I've done so far (I did a little highlighting, but all comments were made on post-its), I like the idea of gluing in a copy of my review and writing in places to go for more (rational) information.

Another idea I had, but which I'm not sure about because it looks kind of hinky if I ever get audited, is donating the books to the organization of which I am the chairman. This organization addresses these concepts and we've been thinking about starting a library for members to use (though the idea was to get the rational books for the library -- not the irrational ones). It is a non-profit, so I could donate the books and get the tax writeoff, and still be sure nobody would accidentally find one of these and believe the silliness inside. But, like I said, I feel a little hinky doing that (and I'm not sure the books would do anything but take up space anyway, 'cus I doubt any of the members would really want to waste time reading them).

So, right now, the idea of gluing in the review is leading the pack. Any other ideas, folks?



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"Ignorance and prejudice and fear walk hand in hand."
-- Neil Peart, RUSH, "Witch Hunt"

06-02-1999, 11:27 PM
Two words:
"Compost Heap"

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"I had a feeling that in Hell there would be mushrooms." -The Secret of Monkey Island

06-03-1999, 06:09 PM
Find someone who makes tables with uneven length legs and go into business together.

06-03-1999, 07:11 PM
Mail me the Tarot and Fortune-Telling one. Shred the rest of them and use them as packing materials.

06-03-1999, 07:20 PM
Door stop. Table leveler. Leaf presser. Toddler booster seat. Wheel stop. Ammunition for throwing at person's head when having dramatic tantrum.

Nah . . . just recycle 'em.

06-03-1999, 07:57 PM
Drain Bead said:Mail me the Tarot and Fortune-Telling one. Shred the rest of them and use them as packing materials.
You send me the postage, and they're yours (along with, by the recommendation of people here, copies of my reviews of them :) )!

Just curious: What would you do with them?

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"Ignorance and prejudice and fear walk hand in hand."
-- Neil Peart, RUSH, "Witch Hunt"

06-03-1999, 09:03 PM
Return to sender.
Sandra

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Libby's Mom
Sandra

06-03-1999, 09:47 PM
Wayne Green, last nights guest on the Art Bell show has a list of books that "you'd be crazy if you didn't read" out on his website.

Here is a partial list of those books...are you pitching any of these?:

The Secret Life of Plants - Bird and Tompkins

The Secret Life of Your Cells - Robert Stone

Secrets of the Soil: New Age Solutions for Restoring Our Planet

The Persecution and Trial of Gaston Naessens: The True Story of the Efforts to Suppress an Alternative Treatment for Cancer, Aids, and Other Immunol

The Cancer Cure That Worked! - Barry Lynes

Kinship With All Life - J. Allen Boone

Left For Dead - Dick Quinn

Racketeering In Medicine - Dr. James Carter

Immunization - The reality Behind the Myth - Walene James

It's All In Your Head - Hal Huggins

Patient Power - Goodman and Musgrave

Cross Currents - Robert Becker

Health And Light - John Ott

Light, Medicine of the Future - Jacob Lieberman

The Essiac Report - Richard Thomas

Mind Machines You Can Build - Harry Stine

Into The Light - Dr. William Douglass

Extra-Sensory Perception of Quarks - Stephen Phillips

The Big Bang Never Happened - Eric Lerner

Fingerprints of the Gods - Graham Hancock

The Fall of the Ivory Tower - George Roche

Inside American Education - Thomas Sowell

Dumbing Us Down - John Taylor Gatto

Augustine's Law - Norman Augustine

Evolution From Space - Sir Fred Hoyle & Chandra Wickramasinghe

Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman! - Richard Feynman

The Secret Life of the Unborn Child - Verny & Kelly

Saved By The Light - Dannion Brinkley

The Light Beyond - Raymond Moody

The Secret Science Behind Miracles - Max Freedom Long

Journeys Out of the Body - Robert Monroe

The Holographic Universe - Michael Talbot

Malice In Wonderland - John Perkins

The Medical Mafia - Dr. Guylaine Lanct

Fluoride, the Aging Factor - Dr. John Yiamouyiannis

Root Canal Cover-Up - George Meinig

Environmental Overkill - Dixie Lee Ray

Magnetism and Its Effects on the Living System - Davis & Rawls

The Magnetic Blueprint of Life - Davis & Rawls

The Choice Is Clear - Dr. Allen Banik

The Impossible Child - Dr. Doris Rapp

Let's Play Doctor - Dr. Joel Wallach

Your Body's Many Cries for Water - F. Batmanghelidj

The Pulse Test - Dr. Arthur Coca

What You Need To Know About Water Dr. Kurt Donsbach

Conversations Beyond the Light - Dr. Pat Kubris & Mark Macy

Fountain of Youth - Peter Kelder

Nature's First Law: The Raw Food Diet - Arlin, Dini

Living Water - Olof Alexandersson

Impure Science - Robert Bell

Humanity's Extraterrestrial Origins - Dr. David Horn

The Sirius Mystery - Robert Temple

Alternative Science - Richard Milton

Free at Last - Daniel Greenberg

Montessori Today, Paula Lillard

Red World - Green World - Margaret Chaney

Innocent Casualties, Elaine Feuer

The Day After Roswell, Col. Philip Corso

Lick The Sugar Habit - Nancy Apppleton

Beating The Food Giants - Paul Stitt

Not By Fire, but by Ice - Robert Felix

The Philosopher's Stone - Michio Kushi

How to Raise A Brighter Child - Joan Beck

Senseless Secrets - Michael Lanning

Marketing Secrets of a Mail Order Maverick - Joseph Sugarman

In God We Trust - Judith Hayes

A Nation of Millionaires - Robert Genetski

The Psychic Paradigm - Beverly Jaegers

Drug Crazy - Mike Gray

Forbidden Archeology - Michael Cremo & Richard Thompson

Eectrolytes, the Spark of Life - Gillian Martlew

The Book of Health - Susan Stockton

The Conscious Universe - Dean Radin

Conversations With Nostrasamus - Dolores Cannon

Dress For Success - John Molloy

Travels - Michael Crichton

How to Win Friends and Influence People - Dale Carnegie

The Power of Thought - Eugene Maurey

The Pyramid - Les Brown

The Divining Hand - Christopher Bird

The Divining Mind - Ross & Wright

Psychometry - The Science of Touch - Beverly Jaegers

Abduction, John Mack

The Dilbert Future - Scott Adams

Adventures Beyond the Body, William Buhlman

Past Life Regression (A Practical Guide), Florence McClain

5/5/2000, Richard Noone

Notes From The Cosmos, Gordon Scallion

Mass Dreams of the Future - Chet Snow

Alien Agenda - Jim Marrs

The Threat - David Jacobs

Parkinson's Law, C. Northcote Parkinson

The Theory and Practice of Gamesmanship: Or the Art of Winning Games Without Actually Cheating

Lifemanship, the Art of Getting Away with It Without Being an Absolute Plonk (NEW)

One-Upmanship: Being Some Account of the Activities and Teachings of the Lifemanship Correspondence College of One-Upness and Games Lifemastery

Wanda Hickey's Night of Golden Memories: And Other Disasters

In God We Trust, All Others Pay Cash

Parliament of Whores

Give War A Chance: Eyewitness Accounts of Mankind's Struggle Against Tyranny, Injustice and Alcohol-Free Beer

Holidays In Hell

The Dilbert Principle : A Cubicle's-Eye View of Bosses, Meetings, Management Fads & Other Workplace Afflictions


Thanks, anxiously awaiting your reply,



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Contestant #3

06-03-1999, 10:40 PM
oh dear....I've never listened to Art Bell, but I have read PJ O'Rourke....does this mean I should set up a java shop near Area 54 with telescopes?


PS - David B, a suggestion on what to do with the books....Ebay.com.

The idiot's guide to be a Physic sounds very entertaining. I'll pay S&H.....

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Bigamy is having one wife to many. Monogamy is the same. - Oscar Wilde

06-04-1999, 06:24 AM
The Secret Life of Plants - Bird and Tompkins

I can't speak to the rest of the list, although I have my suspicions, but the authors of this book (which is around 30 years old) have backed off of the claims made in it, since they performed no control experiments, did not have proper controls in the experiments they did perform, fudged all the data and were never able to replicate their results (nor was anyone else). It's a load of crap.

06-04-1999, 07:48 AM
Posted 6/4/99 7:46 AM The Voice

Why don't you offer them to you local Hospital? Most have lounges where the patients can sit and read, or play cards to break up the monotony...usually long-term and or terminal. You would be shocked at how many bibliophiles are in hospital, with few (or no) visitors. For some The books in these lounges are generally very old. If these books are as stupid as you say, some folks might get a moments respite from their worries...as to "Reaching to Heaven"...well, it might even comfort some. (Don't forget any teen or children’s books you might come across)
Remember: physically ill people aren't stupid, nor do they lack a sense of humor. But very often, they are quite lonely and frightened

The Voice

06-04-1999, 09:32 AM
Shirley Ujest said:The idiot's guide to be a Physic sounds very entertaining. I'll pay S&H.....
Ok, but I have to warn you -- it's a BIG book. I'll try to remember to bring it to the post office so I can see how much it would cost (as 1st Class or 4th Class) on Monday. You can e-mail me your address and I'll let you know how much it is.

Luckily (?) this was one of the publishers who sent me two copies of the books, so if Drain Bead is still interested also, I still have another copy.

As for entertaining -- well, some of the things the authors say are exceedingly funny and ridiculous. Unfortunately, they were being serious!

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"Ignorance and prejudice and fear walk hand in hand."
-- Neil Peart, RUSH, "Witch Hunt"

06-04-1999, 09:40 AM
David;
As to donating books to your charity, it's only a problem if you claim the write off. I also chair a non-profit and I'm always donating things for raffles, our library, etc. It only gets hinky if you claim a charitable contribution on your tax form. On the flip side, hinky as it may look, it is not illegal for you to donate and take the write off. It just has a tendency to raise eyebrows at the IRS as there is obvious potential for abuse.

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"I think it would be a great idea" Mohandas Ghandi's answer when asked what he thought of Western civilization

06-04-1999, 10:04 AM
Contestant #3 said:Wayne Green, last nights guest on the Art Bell show has a list of books that "you'd be crazy if you didn't read" out on his website.
Most of them look like a list of books you'd have to be crazy to actually believe. None of these was on my list of ones to get rid of, though I do have Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman! on my bookshelves (just picked it up at a used book store, but haven't had time to read it), and The Dilbert Future, most of which was okay, but the last chapter of which was purely ridiculous (you can find my review of it at http://www.reall.org/newsletter/v05/n10/cartoon-metaphysics.html and Scott Adams' reply at http://www.reall.org/newsletter/v05/n12/index.html ). From what I know of most of these other books, it somewhat annoys me that the Feynman book would be included in a list like this. It's like including a fine wine with a list of vinegars.

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"Ignorance and prejudice and fear walk hand in hand."
-- Neil Peart, RUSH, "Witch Hunt"

06-04-1999, 10:18 AM
The Voice said:Why don't you offer them to you local Hospital? Most have lounges where the patients can sit and read, or play cards to break up the monotony...usually long-term and or terminal.
Well, my answer is really the same as for the suggestions of donating them to book sales. I don't want to encourage people to believe this nonsense.

If these books are as stupid as you say, some folks might get a moments respite from their worries...
What I think is stupid and what others think is stupid may be different. :) After all, Reaching to Heaven was on the bestseller list, for pete's sake!

as to "Reaching to Heaven"...well, it might even comfort some.
It might, but is that something that should be encouraged? This is a discussion that could take up a whole thread in and of itself, but I do not believe we should lie to people just to make them feel better, unless telling the truth would be even worse. I do not believe this is a case where telling the truth would be worse, and I certainly don't want to encourage sick people -- who should be fighting with every ounce of energy to stay alive -- to just decide to give up because there's a better world waiting for them and/or they'll be reincarnated.

Remember: physically ill people aren't stupid, nor do they lack a sense of humor. But very often, they are quite lonely and frightened
Which can put them in a very vulnerable situation. I think that is one reason that alternative medicine thrives -- because people want to believe in something when they are sick and regular medicine cannot do anything for them. I know that's tangential, at best, to this, but I do believe the situations are similar.

(If we want to expand on any of these things, we probably ought to take it to Great Debates.)



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"Ignorance and prejudice and fear walk hand in hand."
-- Neil Peart, RUSH, "Witch Hunt"

06-04-1999, 10:21 AM
Lucky said:As to donating books to your charity, it's only a problem if you claim the write off.
Well of course I'd want to write them off! :)

I also chair a non-profit and I'm always donating things for raffles, our library, etc. It only gets hinky if you claim a charitable contribution on your tax form. On the flip side, hinky as it may look, it is not illegal for you to donate and take the write off. It just has a tendency to raise eyebrows at the IRS as there is obvious potential for abuse.
Precisely. I know it wouldn't actually be doing anything wrong, but I want to even avoid the appearance of impropriety. I mean, I already am going to write off the membership dues for that group, but that is provable by records and a check. This would seem to be a bit more open to attack, even though nothing wrong would actually have occurred.

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"Ignorance and prejudice and fear walk hand in hand."
-- Neil Peart, RUSH, "Witch Hunt"

06-04-1999, 04:21 PM
David Says:
The Voice said: quote:
---------------------------------------------
Why don't you offer them to you local Hospital? Most have lounges where the patients can sit and read, or play cards to break up the monotony...usually long-term and or terminal.
---------------------------------------------
Well, my answer is really the same as for the suggestions of donating them to book sales. I don't want to encourage people to believe this nonsense.

quote:
---------------------------------------------
If these books are as stupid as you say, some folks might get a moments respite from their worries...
---------------------------------------------
What I think is stupid and what others think is stupid may be different. After all, Reaching to Heaven was on the bestseller list, for pete's sake!

quote:
---------------------------------------------
as to "Reaching to Heaven"...well, it might even comfort some.
---------------------------------------------
It might, but is that something that should be encouraged? This is a discussion that could take up a whole thread in and of itself, but I do not believe we should lie to people just to make them feel better, unless telling the truth would be even worse. I do not believe this is a case where telling the truth would be worse, and I certainly don't want to encourage sick people -- who should be fighting with every ounce of energy to stay alive -- to just decide to give up because there's a better world waiting for them and/or they'll be reincarnated.

quote:
---------------------------------------------
Remember: physically ill people aren't stupid, nor do they lack a sense of humor. But very often, they are quite lonely and frightened
---------------------------------------------
Which can put them in a very vulnerable situation. I think that is one reason that alternative medicine thrives -- because people want to believe in something when they are sick and regular medicine cannot do anything for them. I know that's tangential, at best, to this, but I do believe the situations are similar.
(If we want to expand on any of these things, we probably ought to take it to Great Debates.)
*********************************************
Hey, David. Lighten up. I thought that YOU were asking a legitimate question. I offered an idea. Here`s another one:

Why don`t you stick them in your ear? Clearly, there`s more than enough room between your ears to store the Library of Congress...God.
Throw them out. Burn them. Shred them. Keep the bloody things. Who cares? But why would you ask if you didn`t want suggestions?
Must you be so damn dog in the manger about it?

06-04-1999, 04:51 PM
Check with your local Habitat for Humanity, they should have a place for you to contact that will take old books/newspapers/etc and shread them up finely for use as insulation in low cost houses, such as the ones built by HfH.

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&gt;&gt;while contemplating the navel of the universe, I wondered, is it an innie or outie?&lt;&lt;

---The dragon observes

06-05-1999, 01:15 AM
OK, here's an idea. I don't know the legal ramifications, but it might be something to work with:

Work out a fund raiser with your publisher, perhaps the newspaper you work for. Print a list of the books available and auction them off. Send the proceeds to your local library or some other literary organization. Play it up with your tongue firmly in your cheek, and maybe you can get some folks with a lot of money and a good sense of humor to make some charitable bids. What do you think?

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"The day after tomorrow is the third day of the rest of your life." -George Carlin

06-05-1999, 08:57 AM
Pathunt;
Brilliant idea! You're not a professional fund-raiser, are you? Would you like to be? I've got a great position for you. The pay bites (that is to say, there isn't any), but I promise it'll be rewarding ; )

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"I think it would be a great idea" Mohandas Ghandi's answer when asked what he thought of Western civilization

06-05-1999, 09:18 AM
Never destroy a book, even if you do not agree with what is in it. Books, even foolish ones are the single best symbol of a civilized society. Consider contacting the library at your Alma Mater. Offer to help them create a special collection of books for researching modern superstitions and urban myths. This would enable you to avoid an act that is obviously distasteful to you [destroying books] and help create a more skeptical and rational society.

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06-05-1999, 11:32 AM
You send me the postage, and they're yours (along with, by the recommendation of people here, copies of my reviews of them)!

Just curious: What would you do with them?

I've read Tarot since I was 14, and have actually made money off of it in a pinch. I'm curious to see the "Dummies" book for it.

Saw a clip from some talk show on Talk Soup the other day...some chick was hawking a book she'd written--"The Complete Idiot's Guide to Amazing Sex." Be afraid. Be very afraid.

--elm

06-05-1999, 10:46 PM
No, I'm not a fund-raiser. Like most other aspects of my life, I get great ideas but lack the resolve to act on them. (However, if some of the funds worked their way into my pocket...)

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"The day after tomorrow is the third day of the rest of your life." -George Carlin

06-07-1999, 09:12 AM
Drain Bead, did you ever see the commercial for "Sex for Dummies"?

pitch black screen.
Dumb-sounding Man: "I think I got it!"
Match lights.
Dumb-sounding Woman: "That's not mine, that's yours."
Man: "Oh."

shot of "Sex for Dummies" book and voiceover.

I never laughed so hard in my life.

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Cave Diem! Carpe Canem!

06-07-1999, 10:23 AM
You could always glue the pages together, then glue the books together and build a shelter that can be used to hide out from the fallout of the Y2k disaster ;)


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To deal with men by force is as impractical as to deal with nature by persuasion.

06-07-1999, 10:40 AM
The Voice said:Hey, David. Lighten up. I thought that YOU were asking a legitimate question. I offered an idea.
My goodness. Considering the rest of your message, I think it's you who needs to lighten up. I did ask a legitimate question, and I've gotten a number of good answers. I'm sorry that I didn't like yours, but if you'd read the whole thread before responding, you would have already known how I felt about that. Even so, it wasn't like I jumped on you or anything -- I just told you why I didn't like the idea.

Why don`t you stick them in your ear? Clearly, there`s more than enough room between your ears to store the Library of Congress...God.
Hmmm. I don't believe in irrational things and don't want to promote them, so therefore I am brainless? That's very logical, Voice, thanks. I'll remember to call upon you whenever I need a rational, logical, calm answer to something.

But why would you ask if you didn`t want suggestions?
Because (I'll type slowly so you understand), I did want suggestions, and as I said, I've gotten some good ones (not to mention a few people asking for me to send them copies). Get it? Not a tough concept.

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"Ignorance and prejudice and fear walk hand in hand."
-- Neil Peart, RUSH, "Witch Hunt"

06-07-1999, 10:43 AM
Narile suggested:Check with your local Habitat for Humanity, they should have a place for you to contact that will take old books/newspapers/etc and shread them up finely for use as insulation in low cost houses, such as the ones built by HfH.
Interesting! Not a bad idea. I'll check it out. Thanks! (At least this way the books would be doing somebody some good.) :)

Pathunt suggested:Work out a fund raiser with your publisher, perhaps the newspaper you work for. Print a list of the books available and auction them off. Send the proceeds to your local library or some other literary organization. Play it up with your tongue firmly in your cheek, and maybe you can get some folks with a lot of money and a good sense of humor to make some charitable bids. What do you think?
Another good idea that I'll have to check out. Unfortunately (or fortunately), I don't think I have enough such books right now to do this, but if I end up with some more, I think that's a pretty good suggestion. Thanks!

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"Ignorance and prejudice and fear walk hand in hand."
-- Neil Peart, RUSH, "Witch Hunt"

06-07-1999, 10:46 AM
Drain Bead said:I've read Tarot since I was 14, and have actually made money off of it in a pinch. I'm curious to see the "Dummies" book for it.
I have to warn you -- it's pretty bad. I had a friend of mine who also does Tarot reading (he doesn't believe in it -- he used to do it in college bars to get free beer) go through it, and he gave it a BIG thumbs-down even from the standpoint of what it says compared to what other Tarot books say. But like I said, if you want to pay the postage, it's yours. :)

On a cross-topic that we should probably move elsewhere if we're going to actually discuss it at length -- you said you've made money reading Tarot. Do you believe in "the power of Tarot," or are you more like my friend, who just did it because he could?

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"Ignorance and prejudice and fear walk hand in hand."
-- Neil Peart, RUSH, "Witch Hunt"

06-10-1999, 02:45 PM
Don't ever count on me to to act calm in the face of arrogant little fops who try to show their "superior" intelligence by deciding that books that they don't like (more likely, didn't understand) are unworthy of sharing with people who might enjoy them or if they're as awful as all that, might provoke them into action or encourage them to question things.
Now, be on your way, you silly little prig.
YOU HAVE BORED ME. A deadly sin

La Voce
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
The last time I saw him he was walking down lover's Lane holding his own hand.~~ Fred Allen (who knew he knew David B?)

06-10-1999, 02:52 PM
Don't ever count on me to to act calm in the face of arrogant little fops who try to show their "superior" intelligence by deciding that books that they don't like (more likely, didn't understand) are unworthy of sharing with people who might enjoy them or if they're as awful as all that, might provoke them into action or encourage them to question things.

So, I suppose if you had the following books in your possession:

1) How to Bash Fags
2) Lesbians Are Destroying Our Society
3) Proof that Homosexuals are Spawns of the Devil
4) Homosexuals Should Be Prevented From Having, Raising and Adopting Children

You'd want to make sure you gave them to everyone you know, right? Please. Take your self-righteous guardian of the people act elsewhere. David has a perfect moral right to not want to promote philosophies he finds dangerous. Get off it, already.

06-10-1999, 03:28 PM
The Voice said:Don't ever count on me to to act calm in the face of arrogant little fops who try to show their "superior" intelligence by deciding that books that they don't like (more likely, didn't understand) are unworthy of sharing with people who might enjoy them or if they're as awful as all that, might provoke them into action or encourage them to question things.
My, my, my. Such anger just because I didn't like your suggestion (which, as I mentioned, you would have known ahead of time if you'd bothered to read the thread).

The only person acting like an "arrogant little fop" around here would be you. Nobody else got all pissed off just because I didn't like their suggestion. Nobody else called me "brainless" and then suggested, without a shred of evidence, that I "didn't understand" the books -- just because I don't believe in irrational things and don't want to promote them.

As I noted in my previous message, I'll remember to call upon you whenever I need a rational, logical, calm answer to something.

[/quote]Now, be on your way, you silly little prig.
YOU HAVE BORED ME. A deadly sin[/quote]
Apparently the "deadly sin" is that I dared to disagree with you -- not that I bored you. If you were bored, you would simply go away and I doubt anybody here would've shed tears. But you specifically came back to whine and b*tch and moan because I didn't like your suggestion to propagate nonsense. Well, too bad. If you can't handle the opinions of others -- and more importantly considering this is the message board for The Straight Dope, if you can't handle dealing with things on a rational level -- perhaps you should consider not participating in areas where you will <gasp> see opinions and conclusions you don't like.

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"The best medicine for misery is neither myth nor miracle, but naked truth."
-- Richard Walker, The Running Dogs of Loyalty: Honest Reflections on a Magical Zoo

06-10-1999, 03:38 PM
Print out a nice label on your computer saying
This book is in the library of "John Travolta"
(or pick any other celebrity, I choose him because he's a scientologist)

and then offer to sell them to a tabloid. "Books from JT's library, with JT's personal annotations!" Either that or hawk them on the JT fan club page.

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Jacques Kilchoer
Workers of the world, unite! You have nothing to lose but your chains.

06-10-1999, 07:53 PM
On a cross-topic that we should probably move elsewhere if we're going to actually discuss it at length -- you said you've made money reading Tarot. Do you believe in "the power of Tarot," or are you more like my friend, who just did it because he could?

I started doing it when I was 14, mainly because it was something cool to play with at slumber parties. I don't believe in any powers or the like. Anyone with any amount of intuition and BS skills can read Tarot. I have had some rather freaky coincidences before (the cards read that a guy I'd never met was going through an emotional separation from someone, and he was getting a divorce at the time--I've never seen anyone turn so white), but that's all they are.

It's still pretty fun, though, if you don't take it seriously.

--elm

06-10-1999, 08:05 PM
Drain Bead said:Anyone with any amount of intuition and BS skills can read Tarot. I have had some rather freaky coincidences before (the cards read that a guy I'd never met was going through an emotional separation from someone, and he was getting a divorce at the time--I've never seen anyone turn so white), but that's all they are.
My friend has had similar experiences with people reading their problems into the cards. But one problem is, of course, that the meanings of the cards can represent so many things.

He did a couple readings for strangers at one of our (local skeptics group) meetings -- as the first half of a meeting discussing the topic. While we thought we made the meeting announcement fairly clear, it appears some people didn't really read it and thought it was going to be a pro-Tarot talk, and came for readings (we did say he would do a couple). So he did these in front of the audience -- half of whom was made up of skeptics who knew he didn't believe in it, half who didn't know.

The second guy read his entire life into the cards. My friend did his best to avoid the situation, but the guy wouldn't stop. He talked about his father with Alzheimers, his sister who wouldn't help out, etc. He laid out his whole life there, and frankly, we were all a bit embarrassed because we knew the other shoe would drop soon.

That said, I hope it was a learning experience for him and the others there -- showing that you can read what you want to read into the Tarot.

------------------
"The best medicine for misery is neither myth nor miracle, but naked truth."
-- Richard Walker, The Running Dogs of Loyalty: Honest Reflections on a Magical Zoo

06-10-1999, 08:35 PM
An Open Letter to "The Voice":
DON'T EVER PRESUME TO COMMENT ON MY INTELLIGENCE, WHEN YOUR OWN SUPERSTITIONS, IGNORANCE, AND ARROGENCE ARE HANGING OUT LIKE A DIRTY SHIRT-TAIL, YOU INSECT!
Ahem....
I am , at least, both intelligent and educated enough to know that no form of fortune telling can be validated by statistical analysis ; that is' fortune tellers guesses about the future are no better than anybody else's. Some fortune tellers can guess a lot about your personally, because they are often pretty fair amateur psychologists. But their guesses about the future are, well, guesswork.

06-10-1999, 08:37 PM
An Open Letter to "The Voice":
DON'T EVER PRESUME TO COMMENT ON MY INTELLIGENCE, WHEN YOUR OWN SUPERSTITIONS, IGNORANCE, AND ARROGANCE ARE HANGING OUT LIKE A DIRTY SHIRT-TAIL, YOU INSECT!
Ahem....
I am , at least, both intelligent and educated enough to know that no form of fortune telling can be validated by statistical analysis ; that is' fortune tellers guesses about the future are no better than anybody else's. Some fortune tellers can guess a lot about your personally, because they are often pretty fair amateur psychologists. But their guesses about the future are, well, guesswork.